By Dave Smith and Harry Harris
LOUIS Van Gaal didn’t want to hear it but maybe, just maybe, Paul Scholes was right in describing the current Manchester United side as boring. Effective sometimes, but boring.
Scholes even went as far as to say he wouldn’t enjoy playing in this United side. He certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed the day out at Selhurst Park. Did anybody?
It is the first time since 2005 that United have registered three successive goalless draws and United have not scored for five hours.
That is unheard of and clearly a situation LVG needs to address. In the short term with the players he has at his disposal; in the long term with the players he needs to bring in.
Yes, United are sitting relatively comfortable in fourth place and have improved since the start of the season – but there’s still some way to go.
United had plenty of possession against a Crystal Palace side which is difficult to break down under Alan Pardew, but created little as Yannick Bolasie hit the bar.
On the occasion of his 350th Premier League game, Wayne Rooney’s first half free-kick was saved but Palace had the better chances. Not his finest hour and a half; nor United’s.
As recognised by Van Gaal who, interviewed on Sky and reported on the BBC website, said about his side’s goal drought: “There’s a big concern but I already said that after the match against Middlesbrough.
“In that match we created many chances but did not finish. Today we didn’t create so many chances so it’s more difficult. When you don’t keep the ball you can’t create chances.”
Despite failing to score for the third successive game, Van Gaal rejected suggestions that his players are lacking in confidence and self-belief, especially in the final third of the field.
“I cannot see that,” he added. “When I see the characters I don’t think they doubt about that quality. It can change in one match and let it be against CSKA Moscow (in the Champions League at Old Trafford on Tuesday), because we need a victory.”